Northwestern men’s soccer (6-7-1, 2-3-1 B1G) picked up a win over Rutgers in its only game in eight days, while the women (5-8-3, 3-4-2) drew at Ohio State and lost at Penn State.
The men put together a thorough 90-minute performance against the Scarlet Knights on Sunday, winning 2-0. Sophomore forward Jose Del Valle struck first with a header in the 11th minute, and freshman midfielder Logan Weaver scored his first collegiate goal in the 43rd minute to pad the NU lead. The back line, playing without starting center back Julian Zigheilboim due to suspension, stifled the dangerous attacking duo of Jackson Temple and Pablo Avila, who entered the game with 11 goals but registered just one total shot.
The win came from fresh legs for the Wildcats, who had eight days in between their previous game against Penn State. The break afforded coach Tim Lenahan to schedule a scrimmage against D-III Aurora College last Monday, a game which featured many reserves and players returning from injury.
The victory also keeps NU in the thick of the Big Ten standings as they vie for a top-four spot to host a game in the Big Ten Tournament. With games left against Michigan State and Wisconsin, the ‘Cats are solely in sixth place and trail fourth place by one point.
The women are currently battling for a top-eight standing to secure their spot in the Big Ten tournament, which does not feature all 14 schools.
Michael Moynihan’s squad is currently right at eighth after the draw with Ohio State and loss to Penn State. The ‘Cats drew 1-1 at OSU in double overtime as first-year Marianna Annest had the whizzing equalizer in the 73rd minute. Despite outshooting Ohio State 10-2 in overtime and forcing goalkeeper Bailey Kolinski to make five saves in the period, NU could only muster one point.
The Nittany Lions thoroughly outplayed the Wildcats in their 3-1 win. Playing early on Sunday, the ‘Cats found them down 2-0 at half thanks to two goals from PSU’s Payton Linnehan. Regan Steigleder would answer in the first minute of the second half to cut the deficit in half, but that was NU’s only semblance of offense. Penn State kept firing shots, outshooting Northwestern 19-1 in total, and added an insurance goal in the 62nd minute. Goalkeeper Nia Harris made seven saves for NU.
Northwestern finishes out the regular season with two games at home against Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Gophers are 1-6-1 in conference while the Badgers are 7-0-1, and winning at least one game is critical for NU to hold its current eighth-place standing. The Big Ten tournament starts Sunday.